Tampa Preparatory School was founded in 1974.
The School’s philosophy as envisioned by its founders embodied the goal of educating centered, inquisitive, selfless young people through a rigorous college preparatory curriculum and contact with diverse experiences and people.
There’s a culture of innovation and creativity at Tampa Prep, a willingness to try new ideas, think differently, and push envelopes. That spirit saturates the school, inspires the faculty, and sets the expectation that student interest can start classes, clubs and long standing traditions.
On the first day of classes students and faculty gather together for the opening Convocation Assembly. The community hears from several speakers, including Head of School Kevin Plummer and the student body president.
Senior Six-Word Memoir
Six Word Memoir
During the first week of school, each member of the Senior class writes a six-word mantra–a defining quote–on the wall of the Student Center. The mantras remain in place throughout the school year.
Paint the Rock
Paint the Rock
Each year, seniors leave their mark on Prep by signing their names on the big red rock in the student parking lot. This signing is followed by an ice cream party.
At the beginning of the school year, the senior class arrives on campus before sunrise one morning for a pancake breakfast. They sit on blankets by the Hillsborough River and watch the sunrise together, commemorating the dawn of their final year at Prep.
New Parent Shindig
New Parent Shindig
Toward the end of August, all new parents are invited to our New Parent Shindig, an event where new parents can get to know each other as well as key staff and administrators. Food and drinks are provided for this social event held on campus.
Tampa Prep believes that experiential education fosters a deeper understanding of self, the world and other people.
- 6th grade students spend three days touring local Florida sites.
- 7th grade students spend four days in the Keys, snorkeling, kayaking and swimming with dolphins.
- 8th grade students spend four days walking Boston’s historic Freedom Trail.
- 11th grade students take a week-long trip to Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina to build their character and confidence while creating lifelong bonds.
Thanksgiving Convocation is a performing arts concert leading up to the holiday season. The concert features performances by our Terrapin musicians and chorus, as well as spoken word tributes from students and faculty.
Declamations are a unique Tampa Prep tradition that help students build confidence through public speaking. All students, grades 6-12, are required to prepare and deliver an oral presentation. Students advance through rounds performing for their class, their grade, and finalists for each grade perform in front of the entire school.
Tampa Prep hosted the inaugural Headmasters’ Challenge on January 10, 2004. This annual tradition honors our rivalry with Berkeley Preparatory School. Winter sports teams from middle division, junior varsity and varsity all complete for the highly coveted Headmasters’ Cup.
Grandparents Day is a school favorite. Grandparents are treated to special performances and join their grandchildren in classes to experience Tampa Prep firsthand.
Each year, members of Tampa Prep’s Board of Trustees are invited to spend a half day on campus attending classes. This allows Trustees to experience life as a terrapin, and for students to get to know the Trustees.
While Tampa Prep students “go beyond” on a regular basis, Terrapin Day exemplifies the school’s mission of “a higher purpose than self.” On this day, each grade level takes on a unique cause and donates their day to the organization or task.
Cookie Company Project
Cookie Company Project
In Honors Economics, seniors form companies to sell cookies and other sweet treats to the Tampa Prep community. Each company must complete two presentations before they begin their sales. A marketing/social media plan is presented to the school’s Director of Strategic Marketing, and a business plan is presented to the Director of Finance and Operations, in the hopes of receiving a “business loan” from the school to kick off their companies. This project is an excellent opportunity for students to apply and execute what they are learning in class.
For the 3# Project (3 lbs. is the weight of the human brain) Seniors in Honors English resolve to learn something they have always wanted to try. This can be anything from playing an instrument, to cooking a vegan meal, to building a car engine. Throughout the process, they maintain a digital portfolio of blog entries, research and multimedia samples of their works in progress. Their portfolios are included as part of their final presentation in a gallery-style exhibition and presented to guests in an engaging public speaking experience.
The seniors’ final day of classes is a fun one! The entire school dresses in college spirit attire, with seniors dressed head to toe in gear from their future college/university. Activities throughout the day include:
- The Senior Stroll. Head of School Kevin Plummer leads seniors through the halls of Tampa Prep for a final (and loud!) walk through the building. Underclassmen stand outside their classrooms to cheer them on.
- Grad Announcements. The entire student body gathers in the gym to celebrate every single member of the Senior class as they are called down from the bleachers one by one and their plans for the upcoming year are announced.
- Yearbook Distribution. All students watch a yearbook video presentation and receive their yearbooks.
- Rock the Lot. To culminate a great Senior/Yearbook Day, at 5:00 p.m. students, faculty and parents are invited to meet in the Tampa Prep parking lot for a night of sometimes funny, sometimes poignant student performances.
TPPA throws an annual family festival, an afternoon event packed with fun activities for the whole family. Great food, music, faculty dunk tank, an inflatable obstacle course, pictures with Earnest (our school mascot) and more.
Successful completion of the Senior Internship program is a requirement for graduation. Beginning in January, Seniors are counseled through the process of sourcing, interviewing and preparing for internships. They must intern for a total of 70 hours (less 10 hours for each AP class being taken) and blog each week about their experience.
This event honors the senior class as dinner, awards and student entertainment are enjoyed.